Pope Benedict XVI Calls for Middle East Peace Through Forgiveness

Manila Bulletin, Beirut, Lebanon – Pope Benedict XVI said Saturday that mankind should reject vengeance and instead pardon the offenses of others, as he urged the Middle East’s Christians and Muslims to forge a harmonious society through forgiveness.

Those who desire to live in peace must have a change of heart, and that involves “rejecting revenge, acknowledging one’s faults, accepting apologies without demanding them and, not least, forgiveness,” he said.

Pope Benedict XVI, on a three-day visit to Lebanon, met with and spoke to the country’s political and religious leaders as well as the diplomatic corps. His address focused on the universal yearning of humanity for peace and how that can only come about through community, comprised of individual persons, whose aspirations and rights to a fulfilling life must be respected.

Lebanon is a multi-faith country in which Muslims make up about 65 percent of the population and Christians the balance. The pope came to bring a message of peace and reconciliation to it and to the wider Middle East, which have been torn by violence, often sectarian, over the years.

“Only forgiveness, given and received, can lay lasting foundations for reconciliation and universal peace,” he added in an address on the second day of his three-day visit to Lebanon.

Read the full story: Pope: Reject Vengeance, Forgive Offenses.

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